Realtor pushing for rezoning of Eatonville Motel to create long-term housing

A Central Florida realtor has purchased an old hotel in Eatonville, known for its history of criminal activity, with plans to renovate it and create new homes. 

David Washington, a longtime Eatonville resident, aims to transform the Eatonville Motel on East Kennedy Blvd. into either assisted living or rental units for those aged 55 and older.

Washington, born in 1976, has witnessed the town's evolution.

"It gives you an idea of what has changed and what needs to change," he said.

The Eatonville Motel has been in the headlines for various negative reasons. In 2014, it was temporarily shut down due to poor living conditions, displacing 70 tenants. In 2021, a shooting at the motel resulted in two injuries, including a teenager, with 20-25 bullet casings found in the parking lot.


Washington plans to rezone the property for long-term apartment living and is currently going room by room to start renovations. He hopes this project and the potential establishment of the state's Black History Museum in Eatonville will provide the momentum the town needs. 

"We're surrounded by Winter Park and Maitland – both areas are thriving. A lot of economic development dollars are being spent there. That's what we need in Eatonville," Washington said.